Pet Friendly South African Holidays
After a long day at work what could be more heart-warming than a welcoming face or two at the front door – wagging their tails? Our pets are part of the extended family and participate in nearly all the household activities – well, as many as we allow them to! Our animals contribute to our mental wellbeing with unquestioned loyalty and they also keep us fit with as many walks in the park as possible often accompanied by the kids on their bicycles.
In return for a good bowl of food and many reassuring cuddles, our pets repay us with love and security as their sense of smell and hearing is acute. Then of course there is the slow but persistent move to sneak onto the couch which is normally out of bounds. Now we can all see the TV comfortably!
But what happens to this close knit family when it is time for a weekend getaway or even a longer holiday It would be such fun to take the dogs along and it would solve a lot of doggy-sitting problems too. Besides, would you consider leaving your kids behind when on holiday? Then no less your 'man's best friend’.
It might not always be practical to take your pets along with you and there are excellent kennel services available but they are often booked up well in advance and quite expensive. Surely there must be some pet friendly hotels or dog friendly accommodation locally?
Here is the good news! Fortunately there’s been a steady growth in pet friendly accommodation in South Africa over the past few years including B&B and self-catering stays, hotels and even some five star boutique hotels. Whether you’re looking for a weekend break or a longer beach break there’s plenty of accommodation types that make allowances for dogs and even cats. Some go so far as to offer plush doggie beds in your room to custom pet-friendly menus to ensure they have as fine a time as you.
What to Know Before Bringing Your Pet
Do not however assume that this is the end of the story. There are a number of protocols that need to be ticked off to ensure a harmonious stay for all. Here are some pointers
- Ensure your pet is in good health to undertake the journey and that all vaccinations are up to date
- Identification tags and microchipping are essential in case your pet is lost
- A strong and comfortable lead is essential
- Pack water and make frequent stops if travelling by car
- A light sedative can be prescribed for anxious pets
- Only feed your pet small amounts to prevent travel sickness
- Your pet must be socialized and fully house trained to be able to travel
- Give accurate details of the animal/s when booking as some size restrictions apply
- Check if there are any house rules that apply
- Bring along a familiar cushion or blanket for reassurance
- For cats it is best to have a cat box for transit between car and accommodation
Where can I go on Holiday with my Pets?
There are too many hotels that are dog-friendly to mention but here is a small sample from around the country:
- Premier White River
- The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa
- The Oyster Box
- Radisson RED Cape Town
- The Bay Hotel
- Pezula Nature Hotel
- Little Switzerland
- Home Suites Sea Point
Call Thompsons for more information on travelling with your pet to ensure that the whole family is welcomed on arrival for pet friendly getaways.